As the spring temperatures rise and the heat of summer descends on your house, the day you will have to turn on your air conditioner for the first time is fast approaching. When the day arrives and your family can no longer stand the heat, the last thing you want to deal with is foul-smelling odors coming from the air conditioner. 

Before turning on your air conditioner for the first time, use these tips to remove common odor-causing agents:

Tip: Inspect and Replace the Furnace's Filter

The air that comes out of your home's vents passes through your furnace filter. As the filter becomes clogged with dirt and pet hair, it will make your HVAC system's processed air smell either musty or slightly burned. Changing out the filter is a quick, inexpensive, and simple way to eliminate these types of odor.

Before you dispose of the old filter, take a moment to look at it and ensure it doesn't have any visible mold or mildew growth. If you find either substance, then your home needs better dehumidification and a service call to your local HVAC company is in order. The source of the mold will need to be located and an air conditioning repair may be necessary if a moisture leak is found.

Tip: Clean the Air Conditioner's Drain Line and Drain Pan 

Every residential air conditioner has a drain line and a drain pan that should be cleaned on a regular basis. You can find their locations on your system by checking the owner's manual or by searching the make and model online.

Remove both the drain line and the drain pan and wash them using a solution of chlorine bleach and warm water. If there is a lot of residue built-up, then you can soak them in the bleach solution for a few minutes and then wash them well with some liquid dish soap. 

Tip: Have Your Home's Ductwork Cleaned and Disinfected

Finally, if you have done everything you can do and the air conditioner still puts out less-than-fresh smelling air, then you should consider having your ductwork cleaned and disinfected. Especially if you found mold or mildew on your filter, the ducts could have mold growing in them or they could be coated with dust and dirt that has been accumulating there since your home was first built. Having the ducts cleaned is not expensive, will greatly improve your indoor air quality, and will help eliminate air conditioning odors.